Among the retail news that caught my eye this week, I wanted to draw your attention to these stories
Debenhams and Ocado in joined up thinking. Will help to drive mobile shopping
Debenhams is designing a system that will track people’s behaviour across different channels and recognise when shoppers log on to them.
This should facilitate a more personalised service and more targeted marketing experiences. It is an alternative to Facebook login used by many other brands, which facilitates similar activities.
One of these brands is Ocado, which has just launched a service that enables shoppers to use their Facebook profiles to shop at Ocado. This will continue to build Facebook as a service through which people are able to investigate and buy products.
Given that over 11m browsed retail sites on their mobile phone in July (comScore) there is certainly a desire among many people to use their mobile devices for shopping related activities. Making shopping via mobiles simpler and easier (as the Debenhams and Ocado innovations will do) is very likely to encourage further and more deeper experiences with retailers, including purchase.
Spending to dip this Christmas
In news that food price inflation has hit a nine month high, hitting.6% in November, cash-strapped UK households are likely to dramatically reduce their spending this Christmas. Ahead of our own research to be published about which supermarkets will be hit hardest, YouGov says households will make the biggest savings this year on food and drink, with a projected spend of £161 compared to £176 last year.
Tesco’s likely to sell Fresh & Easy
After investing £1bn in Fresh & Easy since its inception five years ago, Philip Clarke on Wednesday said that Tesco would initiate a strategic review of the business that is likely to lead to its sale. Analysts believe the brand will have incurred cumulative losses of about £850m by February next year.
It is likely that Walmart is a potential buyer of some Fresh & Easy assets. This would facilitate the world’s biggest retailer in its move to open smaller stores in the US.
Demonstrating how the sale will please investors, shares rose 3% on the news.
Amazon launches upmarket fashion store. Opportunities for supermarkets
Amazon UK opened its Premium Store on Monday, which sells high end clothing from the likes of Giorgio Armani, Vivienne Westwood, and McQ by Alexander McQueen. Initially, the Premium Store will only stock womenswear. However, it is likely that Amazon will eventually move into menswear.
Amazon will want to poach customers from the likes of Net a Porter which has grown its business massively over the last two years. However, our own research shows that even buyers of high end fashion complement their purchases with high street brands, which opens up opportunities for supermarkets to better cater for these people.